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The military and government marked the second anniversary of ‘Operation Swift Retort’ when the Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian jets intruding into our sovereign territory after a purported airstrike and received a befitting response.
The day will be known when the valiant armed forces thwarted the nefarious designs of Indian forces and gave a humbling to the belligerent Modi government. There have been statements by military and civilian leaders that Pakistan is capable of resorting to any adventurism when challenged and its desire for peace should not be misconstrued.
The day is also being remembered for captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman who was eventually released as a goodwill gesture. A new video of the pilot shows him telling how he was treated well by Pakistan Army and he never felt any difference between the two countries. Even the Indian pilot has shown a desire for peace between the two countries.
Despite the belligerence of Indian forces and hostile government, both countries should make serious efforts for peace. The situation seems to have changed over the past two years. Just days ago, India and Pakistan make a rare and historic move to strictly adhere to ceasefire along the Line of Control. Villagers living on both sides of the border, who are the biggest victims of skirmishes, welcomed the agreement between but remained sceptical whether it would hold.
The winds of change in relations between the two countries are linked to the change in Washington. It is evident that India and Pakistan have started holding back-channel talks ever since it became clear that Biden would be the next US president. Biden had not made any phone calls to Indian or Pakistani leaders yet and it is unsure how the relations will remain but there are significant changes expected.
It is essential that Pakistan and India should address other outstanding issues such as restoring trade or the border dispute. Kashmir remains the flashpoint between both countries and Pakistan would expect a gesture from India despite unwillingness to budge on the issue. There is no issue that cannot be resolved through peaceful means and dialogue. It is welcoming that things are moving forward which will not benefit both countries but the entire region.